Cat Carriers Review (Other)

Cat Carriers
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EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

No more getting your arms scratched up trying to coax your cat into their carrier. These carriers promise to keep your cat comfy and relaxed to make loading and unloading them a breeze.

Most hard carriers require you to push your cat through a small door to get them inside. But the Van Ness Calm Carrier eliminates that need. Instead, you pull out the sliding drawer, load your cat into it, then push the drawer in. This carrier is built to international Air Transport Association standards, offering flow-through ventilation on all four sides to keep your cat cool and comfortable. We found this easy to assemble with no tools necessary. When assembled, it holds pets up to 20 lbs.

The Paws & Pals Dog & Cat Carrier Bag is a stylish piece of luggage that can be worn around your shoulder. It comes in a small size for pets up to 10 lbs. and a large size for pets up to 22 lbs. Both sizes are designed to be compliant with most airlines' size restrictions for carry-on bags to make air travel with your pet more convenient. The carrier can also be restrained with vehicle seat belts for other types of travel. There are a number of features to make your cat or dog more comfortable on their journey, including a fleece bed they sit on that can be removed and machine-washed. Mesh panels on the side of the carrier allow for airflow. There is only one end that zips fully open where your pet must enter the carrier. However, on the back there is a smaller mesh window that zips open to allow them to stick their heads out and see their surroundings. On the sides, there are also small zippered parts where you can stick your hand in and pet them.

The portable pet cage by FRIEQ aims to provide the protection you find with a hard-shell carrier plus the coziness of a soft carrier. The carrier measures up to 23 x 16 x 15 inches and holds animals up to 25 lbs. It consists of a hard top and bottom with a soft mid section. There are two points of entry, which gives you a couple of options for loading your cat into the carrier. A zippered entry on the mid section of the carrier allows your cat to crawl inside on their own. When closed, it offers a mesh window for them to look through. The hard top cover also unzips and can be completely removed, if you need to pick your cat up and place them into the cage. With your cat's comfort in mind, the Portable Pet Cage includes a soft padded bed that you can slip over the floor and ventilation slots along the sides to create airflow and give them a view of their surroundings. These zippers also lock to prevent cats from escaping.

The three-in-one Sleepypod functions as a carrier, a bed, and a car seat for pets up to 15 lbs. When it's time to go somewhere, just zip the domed top onto the pod. The top is made of mesh, giving your cat a 360-degree view of their surroundings while inside the carrier and giving you a view of your cat. There is a handheld handle at the top, as well as a shoulder strap, offering multiple ways to carry. When you aren't traveling, the Sleepypod doubles as a regular pet bed and there are 12 different colors to choose from, so you can even match it to your home decor.

Why Is It Useful?

We could see how the Van Ness Calm Carrier would be helpful at the vet's office, or anywhere else where you'd want to take your cat out quickly, without having to coax them out. The carrier itself weighs 5.6 lbs. and is very lightweight for a hard carrier, which is a nice feature if you'll need to carry it around a lot. When you're not using it, the base and drawer nest inside the top to store it easily. However, we tried this on two different cats, and one of them really dislikes carriers in general. Even with the sliding drawer feature, it was still a struggle trying to get him inside the carrier.

Thanks to all the smart and thoughtful details, The Paws & Pals Bag would definitely be helpful on car rides, or sitting in the waiting room at the vet. The small zippered "windows" on the side allow owners to check up on or soothe their pets without having to fully open the carrier. Plus, the zippers can "lock," which a clever addition as cats have been known to unzip their carriers. The extra pockets also allow you to store treats, toys, or anything else you or your cats might need for the trip.

For your convenience, the FRiEQ Portable Pet Cage comes with a detachable hard top and bottom that are waterproof and easy to clean. The soft middle section is collapsible, which we find is handy for storage and saves a lot of space when it's not being used. The shape and soft grip of the handle is a nice touch for your comfort and doesn't dig into your hands, even when carrying a large cat. Even with cats on the larger side, we found this was well-made and held up perfectly.

To keep your pet safe during road travel, the Sleepypod is crash-tested and can be secured in place with a seatbelt thanks to the Velcro positioning points. While Sleepypod does make other carrier models that are suitable for airplanes, the one we tested seems geared more toward car trips. We think the way the Sleepypod combines safety and comfort can't be beat. Even when you're not taking it anywhere, your cat will get so much use out of it as a bed.

Who It’s For

Cats or small dogs that tend to dislike typical hard carriers. The Van Ness Calm Carrier fits pets up to 20 lbs. The Paws & Pals bag comes in a small size for up to 10 lbs. and a large size for up to 22 lbs. The FRiEQ carrier holds animals up to 25 lbs. The Sleepypod fits pets up to 15 lbs.

What To Be Aware Of

While Van Ness says its carrier is designed for one-handed use, it took us two hands to close it with a cat inside of it. One hand was required to pinch the handle and the other to hold the carrier steady. Van Ness also says the heavy-gauge wire door is made with an easy-squeeze door latch. But the metal door was probably the hardest part, as you'll need to line up four parts and press hard to get each piece into the corresponding holes. Sliding the drawer open and shut is easy, and can be done one-handed without a cat inside.

Though the padded strap of the Paws & Pals bag is supposed to let the carrier rest comfortably around your shoulder to keep your hands free, it can actually flip your cat sideways if it's not totally centered. We would just recommend skipping the shoulder strap altogether and holding the bag with your hands.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Is It Useful?

  • Is It Worth It?

  • Assembly & Instructions

    Easy